Wayne Hammon, budget chief for Gov. Butch Otter, said the Otter Administration is closely watching the federal stimulus legislation. “We’ve been following it very closely, and there’s a lot of education money in both versions of the bill,” he said. Otter and Luna have been in close contact, Hammon said, to try to make sure proposed cuts for schools are structured in such a way that they could be reversed if sufficient stimulus money shows up from the federal government. The proposed cut in teacher salary funding equivalent to three contract days, for example, is much more easily reversed than layoffs. “If the money comes, those three days are easily reinstated,” Hammon said. “You had to build it in a way that you don’t count on the stimulus money, but you can accommodate it if it comes.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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